Richard Swinburne's Inductive Argument for the Existence of God – A Critical Analysis

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation


This essay discusses and criticizes Richard Swinburne's inductive argument for the existence of God. In his The Existence of God, Swinburne aims at showing that the existence of God is more probable than not. This is an argument taking into consideration the premises of all traditional arguments for the existence of God. Swinburne uses the phenomena and events that constitute the premises of these arguments as evidence in an attempt to show that his hypothesis is more probably true than nor. Swinburne pursues this task by way of applying Bayes' theorem. The aim of this essay is normative - to judge the strength of Swinburne's argument for the existence of God. My primary objections towards Swinburne is that he professes a subjective concept of probability, that he relies too heavily on simplicity as a virtue of plausible and probable hypotheses and that his concept of God involves an incoherent picture of God's nature. I question not only the actual success of Swinburne's project but what his argument, if it had been successful, would have been able to establish.

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